THE INTERNET – The struggle for equal marriage rights in America hit a significant roadblock today,as millions of Facebook users switched their profile pictures back to images of themselves, after briefly supporting gay rights by displaying a red equal sign.
The “mass exodus”—as some experts are calling it—began at 11:32 p.m. Thursday night, when Facebook user Allison Weaver took down her equal-sign pic and replaced it with a shot of herself rubbing noses with her poodle, Armani. “I just wanted everyone to see how adorable my little man is,” Weaver told Newslo. “I had no idea what would happen.”
Within minutes, Weaver’s Facebook friends had noticed the switch, and, in a panic, began removing the equal sign from their own profiles. “No one wants to be the last person rocking a no-longer-trendy profile pic,” Sam Vernon, an acquaintance of Allison’s, said. From there the equal-sign pics were abandoned at an exponential rate. By early Friday morning, 99% of Facebook’s gay-rights supporters had given up the cause, leaving only “those weirdos who only sign on once or twice a month” (as Vernon described them) to advocate equal marriage rights for homosexual couples.
Full-time gay-rights activists are appalled by the rapid evaporation of their support. “It happened so damn fast,” said Eddie Newhouse, a member of GLAAD. “One minute half the world is behind us, the next they’re gone, back to displaying profile pics of themselves bonging Keystone Lights.”
History indicates that Newhouse and other activists have reason to be worried. “We’ve seen this over and over,” said Jane Little, professor of new media studies. “Once the profile pics come down, your cause is essentially forgotten. Facebook users have a limited attention span, and this is the classic sign that you’ve used up your allocated time and that they’re ready to move onto something else.”
Members of the United States Supreme Court—who earlier this week heard two cases challenging laws which many believe discriminate against homosexual couples—were quickly apprised of the situation. “I’m told by my interns that the red equal signs have gone the way of the ‘Koni 2012’ profile pics,” said Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court’s perennial swing vote. “This can mean only one thing: America has officially adopted the ‘meh’ attitude towards gay marriage rights. We can’t help but take that into account when making our decision vis-à-vis the cases we’ve just heard.”
Greg Bower, a Facebook user who changed his profile pic from the equal sign to a picture of his bathroom faucet, said Justice Kennedy is probably correct in his belief that gay-rights, having become deeply uncool, are no longer a major concern for most Americans. “Things change,” Bower said. “Yesterday I was totally into gay rights. Today I’m thinking effective water sanitation is the real key to our nation’s future. C’est la vie.”